Mumford & Sons, Adele among winners at Brit awards
London – British music put on a brash, confident show at the Brit Awards yesterday, celebrating a resurgent industry whose bands and artists are topping charts around the globe.
Winners ranged from established acts such as Coldplay and Adele to world-conquering boy band One Direction, who won in the new Global Success category.
One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson called the prize “absolutely mind-blowing.”
American artists Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey were among the non-British winners at a ceremony that embraced the mainstream while rewarding artists with distinctive personalities.
Surfing English folk singer Ben Howard and chanteuse Emeli Sande each won two awards.
Sande was named best British female artist and won the album of the year prize for her debut Our Version of Events, which has been in the British charts for more than a year.
Scotland-raised Sande got a big boost in 2012 when she performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
“This is a dream, really,” said Sande, who beat Alt-J, Mumford & Sons, Plan B and Paloma Faith to the album prize.
She thanked everyone “who made me feel like I’m part of something much bigger.”
Howard was named British breakthrough act and British male artist of the year.
“I’m not very good at speeches,” the 25-year-old singer said, accurately – though he may have to get good at it if his career continues to take off.
Long derided as dull, the Brits have become a lively celebration of Cool Britannia music and style, featuring a dinner for hundreds of artists and industry figures followed by a televised concert and awards show for thousands of paying fans.
Mumford & Sons were named best British group. The banjo-twanging band topped UK and US charts with their second album Babel, which was named album of the year at the Grammys earlier this month.
Coldplay was named best British live act, beating nominees including The Rolling Stones, who celebrated their 50th anniversary with a series of sold-out shows last year.
Adele won the best British single prize for her James Bond theme Skyfall. The soulful singer sent a message from Los Angeles, where she is rehearsing for Sunday’s Academy Awards.
The Black Keys were named best international group, while Del Rey took the trophy for international female solo artist.
The US singer, who began as an Internet sensation, won a breakthrough Brit award last year and yesterday thanked Britain for supporting her.
The international male trophy went to R&B star Frank Ocean, who said it was “definitely a long way from working fast food in New Orleans” – and was the only winner to thank artist Damien Hirst for creating the polka-dot Brit Awards statuette.
Most of the awards are chosen by more than 1 000 musicians, critics and record industry figures, with several decided by public vote.